I’ve received more than usual amounts of emails regarding how to begin homeschooling lately. When someone asks me how long I’ve been homeschooling, my stock answer is, “Eight long years.” Fiddledaddy will tell you that I quit homeschooling every Friday, only to begin again on Monday.
If you catch me at just the right moment, I will advise you, “RUN. RUN LIKE THE WIND.”
I will be the first to tell you that it’s not for everyone. Each family must weigh their own reasons and resources before deciding to undertake this endeavor. I know many families who have children who thrive in a school setting. I also know many families who have children who thrive in a homeschooling setting. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s a very personal decision.
With that said, I wanted to address some of the questions that I’ve been receiving. Of course that all important socialization issue comes up most frequently. Perhaps the most important aspect of homeschooling, even perhaps more important than the curriculum question, is the area of support. Because as I can tell you from first hand experience, the moms are in (perhaps more) need for a listening ear, and social support. When I first began homeschooling in 2004, I was parent to a Kindergartner, a 3 year old, and a newborn.
I spent a good deal of my day face down on the linoleum. Or in the fetal position. In other words, I felt isolated.
I searched through online groups in my area, and after checking out several, I finally found a co-op type of group which not only offered classes, but also extracurricular activities. This group was a lifesaver to be certain.
After a few years, the group disbanded, and I found myself feeling like a lone wolf once more. This time I took matters into my own hands and began a once weekly play group which met at a local park. I put together email addresses from contacts from my old co-op group, and sent out an email to determine interest. We had our first meeting on a Friday afternoon, 5 years ago. Through word of mouth and social networking, this group has grown.
I can tell you that these families have become some of my dearest friends, and closest support system. Our children have grown up together. It is a group that has ebbed and flowed over the years. I’m blessed in that this has been a group of people that are very open about their struggles, and there is an abundance of grace as we all navigate these treacherous waters together.
I’ve wondered if our situation is an anomaly, or have other homeschoolers elsewhere been able to find support systems. I was reading an article on the Mom’s Homeroom website addressing the importance of finding a support system when choosing to homeschool. The article offered some of the standard and very important benefits to finding community. But they did go farther in offering helpful suggestions for ways to search for homeschooling help and support.
In fact, I was very pleased to see ideas shared that I had never thought of. I think it’s a great jumping off point.
If you are considering homeschooling for your family, know that you don’t have to go it alone. Each state does a fantastic job of getting the information regarding requirements and community groups. A great place to start would be your state’s Homeschool Convention.
And speaking of which, I’ve already begun the countdown for our Florida Homeschool Convention in May. I’m already giddy with anticipation. Packing may have commenced.
This blog is part of an incentivized online influencer network for Mom’s Homeroom. Mom’s Homeroom is brought to you by Frosted Mini-Wheats.